My thought process when picking up Justice League 3000 from the comic shop this week: “Oh hello, old friend, so good to see you. It’s been such a rough month for reading that I get to crack you open and enjoy – OH GOD WHAT HAPPENED? Where is Howard Porter? Where are my overly intricate lines and dots and close-ups and all the other things I’ve become accustomed to in the last year? Okay, breathe, let’s take a look inside.” While that was all jarring, I still found myself really enjoying this book, which has basically become Keith Giffen’s and J.M. DeMatteis’ personal playground.
So we have a guest artist this month with Andy Kuhn, who has worked on pre-New 52 lines like Batgirl, Blue Beetle, and Nightwing. His style is a definite shift from Howard Porter’s stuff, and while I’ve become accustomed to the uniqueness of Porter’s own work, Kuhn brings his own flair and individual talent with this issue. Porter’s complexity and detail are replaced with a more recognizable “comic book” and abstract style of art. I definitely missed Porter, but there is a certain charm about Kuhn’s work that is attractive in its own right. There was inconsistency with how much it appealed to me, with my opinion fluctuating literally from panel to panel, but by the end I was almost enamored with Kuhn’s artwork – something I was certainly not expecting when I first opened up this book.
I know the cover in the Upcoming Comics section featured Wonder Woman and Etrigan duking it out with Fire looking on in the background, but that was not the case with what I picked up. Mine featured a shot of Ice on the cover looking befuddled as some calligraphy stated “The Secret History of the Justice League, according to Ice.” Now both of those covers are incredibly misleading compared to what’s in the book, as the main story follows Ice’s own journey from Earth to Camelot-Nine.
So Ice is being led through the streets of Camelot-Nine when the JL3K convenes to find out what she knows about galactic history in the 1000 years they’ve been dead. I won’t spoil all the little homages and Easter eggs (which aren’t really Easter eggs) but there’s a lot to soak in. If I were to give you the short version it would include a trip to Hell, a post-apocalyptic Earth, sentient animals, wars, and trips across space. I usually love Giffen and DeMatteis’ writing choices but this issue got way to expository and long-winded in places. There were some awesome panels that complimented Ice’s story, but in a few places it seemed like way too much. There’s also a short section with Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, who find themselves transported to Cadmusworld and at the mercy of one Terrance Magnus.
There’s also a crazy reveal at the end, which I’ll put in the spoilers below. But honestly, I lost it when I got to the last page. I did not see this coming at all and have no idea where this is going, but it might just be awesome enough to work.
- Etrigan has Darkseid’s head! What!? I need to know more! Definitely the most outrageous thing I’ve seen in a while, and I NEED TO KNOW MORE AGAIN!
Favorite Quote: “The world of the Justice League – is gone forever.” – Ice
- You like fun. You like fun don’t you?!
- You want a consistently good comic series that doesn’t bog itself down with continuity issues or taking itself too seriously.
- You have a thing for Andy Kuhn’s art.
Overall: This series has been close to my heart since it came out. Its mixture of excellent writing, high-quality artwork, humor, and originality work together to provide a fun read that I look forward to every month. While this month was heavy on the exposition and a little wonky with the art, I still place this at the top of my reading list.